The film's producer, Joel Silver, acquired film rights to the pre-Comics Code Authority 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name, from which the plot is developed as an expansion and modernization of the basic premise in Al Feldstein's story "Made of the Future" in the fifth issue.
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the entire movie.
In the fictional suburb of Shermer, Illinois, nerdy social outcasts Gary Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are publicly humiliated by Ian (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Max (Robert Rusler) after they are seen swooning over two girls who happen to be their girlfriends.
Dejected and disappointed at their direction in life and wanting more, Gary convinces the uptight Wyatt that they need a boost of popularity in order to get their crushes, Hilly (Judie Aronson) and Deb (Suzanne Snyder) away from Ian and Max.
Alone for the weekend with Wyatt's parents gone, Gary is inspired by the 1931 classic "Frankenstein" to create a virtual girl using Wyatt's computer; infusing her with everything they can conceive to make the perfect dream girl. After hooking electrodes to a doll and hacking into a government computer system for more power, a power surge creates Lisa, a beautiful and intelligent woman with seemingly endless powers.
Promptly, she conjures up a Cadillac convertible to take the boys out to a bar, using her powers to manipulate people into believing Gary and Wyatt are of age. The boys come up with the name Lisa (Kelly Le Brock), based upon a failed romantic experience of Gary's that ended with Lisa kicking him in the testicles.
They return home drunk and happen upon Chet (Bill Paxton), Wyatt's mean older brother, who extorts money from him to buy his silence. Lisa agrees to keep herself hidden from him, but realizes that Gary and Wyatt while extremely sweet are very uptight and need to unwind.
After a humiliating experience at the mall where Max and Ian pour an ICEE beverage on Gary and Wyatt in front of a crowd of people, Lisa tells them about a party at Wyatt's house, of which Wyatt had no prior knowledge, before driving off in a Porsche 928 she conjured for Gary to spite them.
Despite Wyatt's protests, Lisa insists that the party happen anyway in order to loosen the boys up.
Lisa goes to meet Gary's parents, Al and Lucy, who, to Gary's embarrassment, are shocked and dismayed at the things she says and her frank manner. After she pulls a gun on them (later revealed to Gary to be a water pistol), she alters their memories so that Lucy forgets about the conflict, and Al forgets that they've had a son altogether.
Back at the Donnelly house, the party has spun out of control while Gary and Wyatt take refuge in the bathroom where they resolve to have a good time, despite having embarrassed themselves in front of Deb and Hilly. Meanwhile, Wyatt's grandparents arrive and confront Lisa about the party, but she freezes them and hides them in a cupboard.
Upstairs in Wyatt's bedroom, Ian and Max convince Gary and Wyatt to recreate the events that created Lisa, but Lisa chides them over their misuse of the magic to impress their tormentors. She also mentions that they forgot to connect the doll; thus, with the bare but live electrodes lying on top of a magazine page showing a Pershing II medium-range ballistic missile, a real missile appears through the house.
Lisa resolves that the boys need a challenge to boost their confidence and has a gang of mutant bikers invade the party, causing chaos and sending the boys running. The bikers take Deb & Hilly hostage and Wyatt & Gary decide they need to save them. They confront the bikers with a new boost of confidence (and Lisa's water pistol) to force them to back down.
After they leave peacefully, Gary accidentally fires the gun, which is now real and their bravery makes Deb and Hilly fall in love with them.
The next morning, Chet uncovers the disarray in which the house is (the missile protruding through the kitchen and floor joists and carpet of the bedroom, the kitchen being turned entirely blue, and his catatonic grandparents in the cupboard) before confronting Wyatt and Gary.
Lisa tells the boys to escort the girls home while she talks to Chet alone. Gary narrowly escapes being pulled over by the police in a conjured Ferrari while Wyatt proclaims his love for Hilly before being sprayed by her parent's lawn sprinklers, and both girls reciprocate their feelings to the boys.
Returning home, they discover Chet (now transformed into a talking pile of feces) who apologizes to Wyatt for his behavior. Lisa assures them that Chet will return to normal. Realizing that her work is done and that the guys don't need her anymore, she kisses both Gary and Wyatt before dematerializing and vanishing.
As Lisa is leaving, all of the disarray is magically transformed back to normal, the missile disappears, the home is restored to its original fastidious state and Chet returns to normal just as Wyatt's parents return home, unaware anything odd has happened at all.
Some time later at Shermer High School, a gym class of sweaty, pimply adolescent boys waiting for gym-class to begin is met by a beautifully fit coach in spandex.
It is revealed to be Lisa who tells the class to "drop and give me twenty", causing all the boys in the class to faint and collapse. She turns to the camera and smiles knowingly.
- Anthony Michael Hall as Gary Wallace
- Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt Donnelly
- Kelly Le Brock as Lisa
- Bill Paxton as Chet Donnelly
- Robert Downey, Jr. as Ian
- Robert Rusler as Max
- Suzanne Snyder as Deb
- Judie Aronson as Hilly
- Vernon Wells as Lord General
- Britt Leach and Barbara Lang as Al and Lucy Wallace, Gary's parents
- Ivor Barry and Ann Coyle as Henry and Carmen Donnelly, Wyatt and Chet's grandparents
- Doug MacHugh and Pamela Gordon as Mr. and Mrs. Donnelly, Wyatt and Chet's parents
- Michael Berryman as Mutant Biker
- John Kapelos as Dino
- D'Mitch Davis as Bartender
- Jill Whitlow as Susan, the perfume salesgirl
- Wally Ward as Art
- Renee Props as a member of The Weenies
John Hughes wrote the film in just two days.
Anthony Michael Hall passed on starring in National Lampoon's European Vacation to star in the film.
The filming took place in Chicago, Illinois.
The school scenes were shot at Niles East High School in Skokie, Illinois, the mall scenes were shot at the Northbrook Mall in Northbrook, Illinois and the car chase scenes were shot on Central Street in Highland Park, Illinois.
"Weird Science" opened at #4 at the box office, grossing $4,895,421 during its first weekend.
It had a gross of $23,834,048 in North America and $15,100,000 in other territories, totaling $38,934,048 worldwide.
"Weird Science" received a mixed response from critics.
Based on 27 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 56% of critics gave Weird Science a positive review, with an average rating of 5.6/10.
The consensus states: "Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances."
Roger Ebert gave the movie three stars and said it combines "two great traditions in popular entertainment: Inflamed male teenage fantasies and Frankenstein's monster. Then it crosses them with a new myth, that of the teenage computer geniuses who lock themselves in their bedrooms, hunch over their computer keyboards and write programs that can change the universe."
For his role in the film, Ilan Mitchell-Smith was nominated for a Saturn Award for "Best Performance by a Younger Actor."